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National history curriculum : finding space for a critical global education Hophan, Phillip Albert

Abstract

This investigation provides important insights for how a critical model of global education might be incorporated within national history pedagogies, in the face of increasingly strident neoliberal policy making in education. The demand of teaching, learning and theorizing in the contemporary political environment of the United States or Canada exerts undue pressure on students, teachers, and educationalists in the name of standardization, assessment and global economic preparedness. This research illuminates the critical possibilities that lie in the cracks of such oppressive policies, possibilities that may encourage students and teachers to act more substantially in defense of a globally infused national history education. Numerous foundational definitions of global education and four emergent models are extracted from a survey of North American global education literature, since 1980. These models are located in the official national history and social studies curriculum of the state of California and the province of British Columbia, respectively. Neoliberal educational policymaking is examined for its bearing on the advancement of global education in these jurisdictions. Significant differences in findings in California and British Columbia are explicated. Freirean critical pedagogy is considered as a theoretical framework for students and teachers to employ in turning back the neoliberal tide, by finding and utilizing space within the official national history curriculum for the rooting of a critical global education.

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